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Feb 09, 2006, 08:44 AM
Lazy dog
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Build Log

Guillows Cessna BirdDog - Rubber-powered


This model has been moved from the build pile to the workbench! I've completed my PCW (except for some trimming and balancing) last evening and I decided to give a rubber powered model a try! For the whopping price of $8.00 you can't go wrong. I had no intention of purchasing this model, I didn't really even know about them until a flying buddy of mine pointed them out at the LHS. He's built and flown free-flight and rubber powered planes. He said that this particular model was a quick and easy build. For $8.00 I figured I would give it a go. I've seen a few of the larger Guillows planes made into electric flyers, I'd like to try that as well someday.
I scanned various parts of the plan sheet on my PC and printed out copies with my laser printer. I did verify that the scale had not changed. My workbench isn't wide enough to accomodate a set of plans laying flat. This way I can use an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper and I can keep the plans looking nice. The longest part of the plan, the fuselage, will fit on this size sheet going from corner to corner.
I started with the tail feathers last night and got the elevator completed before it was time for sleep. I'll upload a pic or two later.
Last edited by OhioPete; Feb 09, 2006 at 11:15 PM.
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Feb 09, 2006, 11:22 PM
Lazy dog
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A little more progress was made this evening. I got the basic fuse built and the rudder. The kit, while small, seems to be pretty good. The instructions are really basic but easy to follow. Kind of time consuming in the fact that you have to cut out all the stringer notches in the fuse formers by hand (too small to die cut them on the parts) but the templates are easy to use. All the cross supports also have to be cut by hand but the supplied 1/16" balsa square stock is easy to cut to size.
Here's the results of the project after day two. On to the wings tomorrow once the kids get to bed and dad get some uninterrupted building time
Feb 11, 2006, 12:19 PM
Lazy dog
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Last nights progress - I got the wing ribs all notched and one wing built. The second wing should go together faster as I cut both sets of ribs at one time.
As mentioned before the wing ribs and fuse formers do not have the notches. Here's a shot of the template they provide. It's easy but a little time consuming.
Feb 12, 2006, 12:15 AM
Lazy dog
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Day three was spent primarily sanding...and sanding...and sanding I shaped the leading and trailing edges of the wings and sanded everything else till they were nice and smooth. The balsa that comes with the kit isn't exactly premium grade stuff.
I got the second wing built pretty quick as I had cut all the rib notches the night before when I did the first wing. I added the stringers to the fuse, mount the rubber band in the rear of the fuse, made up the landing gear (kind of a pain) and put the first tissue covering on on half of both the rudder and elevator. I've never used tissue before so we will have to see how it turns out in the morning.
The landing gear wire (one iece tht you bend) either wasn't quite long enough or I made the front gear slightly too long. Either way I had to adapt the tail wheel gear slighty. The wire is supposed to loop over the rearmost former but I had to make a small hole about 3/4's of the way up the former and insert it there to make it work. Shouldn't matter though. Here's some pics of this evenings progress.
Last edited by OhioPete; Feb 14, 2006 at 11:44 PM.
Feb 12, 2006, 12:38 AM
sensitive artsy type
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Just a hint, I love this plane, which is what drew me to the thread.

A great misting bottle, that is free if you have one around, is the pump nasal spray bottles, as they create a very fine mist for shrinking the tissue. Here is a picture of one.

Keep the plane light, use thin dope to finish, in case you didn't already know this, the rubber band should be removeable, a hole in the tissue under where the dowel that slips through the fuse should allow access. And rubber lube is important as well. I use glycerin. There is a formula for using glycerin and green soap, but I'm not sure where to get "green soap". If you keep the rubber bands in baggies, they stay lubed and don't dry out.

I have one of these that I built 20 years ago, flies good, strong fuse, only weak place is the leading edge of the wing, if you hit something like a pole or small tree trunk.
Feb 12, 2006, 01:17 AM
Lazy dog
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Thanks for the suggestions. I did glue the dowel in, what you said about it being removable makes a lot of sense...now I'll just drill out the dowel and put a new one in w/o gluing it. I wish the instructions had a few more comments such as that on them. They are kind of sparse. I keep checking them to make sure I didn't leave something out. I don't know how much I will actually fly this plane, maybe once or twice. You never know though I guess I could become addicted to this form of flight as well. I bought it more as a small project to occupy some time. I'm enjoying the build so far.
Feb 13, 2006, 12:16 AM
Lazy dog
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Day 4 - I got all the tissue covering on. I think I did pretty well for having never done it before. I was amazed how it tightened up once it dried. Thanks to Treetops suggestion I drilled out the dowel I had glued in to hold the rubber band in and now made it removeable.
Feb 13, 2006, 01:57 AM
sensitive artsy type
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Looks great!

Hate to keep butting in, but an item needed to make flying these planes more enjoyable is a speed winder. You can make one from a hand drill, the kind with the gears, or even an old hand operated egg beater. Or you can buy one here:

http://www.turnertoys.com/G1/balsa_model_supplies.htm

The 5 to 1 should be fine, that is what I have, and you don't have to spend 75% of your time winding up the rubber band. I put a loop of string around the dowel that holds the rubber band (which I make about an inch and a half longer than the width of the fuse) and hook the loop of string onto something to hold the plane while winding, and this allows you to pull the rubber band out and stretch it some while winding. Another solution is to build a stooge, like the one in the picture, if you get serious about this.

I'll try to shut up now and just enjoy the build. tt

(Not me in the picture, wish I could build like that though!)
Feb 14, 2006, 12:11 AM
Lazy dog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treetop
Looks great!

Hate to keep butting in, but an item needed to make flying these planes more enjoyable is a speed winder.
Your not butting in. It's probably good that you make comments about the build. This way if anyone is misguided enough to try to emulate my build of this plane they can actually get information from someone who knows what the heck they are taking about!

BTW -I have my own winder, have had it for almost 37 years nows. It works o.k but is a little slower than the gizmos you refer too.
Seriously though, those are some neat winding contraptions. Truth be told this thing will probably spiral in and crash and burn on my first flight. My expectations are low but I might be suprised. I bought this because my buddy at the hobby shop (who build plenty of these things) handed it to me and said "Here, try this it's only $8.00 and should be a quick little build". I don't see much of a future for me in building these types of planes in the near future but I've also learned to never say never. I'm going with the basics now.
Last edited by OhioPete; Feb 14, 2006 at 12:28 AM.
Feb 14, 2006, 12:20 AM
Lazy dog
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Progress was slow today. Too busy paying attention to the olympics I got the tail feathers glued together. I aslo had to make a small 1/16 shim where the tail would sit (haven't cut them off flush with the back yet as seen in pic) to make the rudder line up properly with the rear of the fuse. I do have a very slight twist in the frame. I noticed it while trail fitting the wings. I have pretty much gotten rid of it at this point but did have to increase the depth of one of the notches on the wing attachment point to get it even.
Remeber how I mentioned that the plans were o.k since this plane is such a simple build? I lied There are an awful lot of things that are easy to miss if you don't pay VERY close attention to the drawing. I've had to take a step back or two at times after noticing something that need to be put in place before the piece I just attached. I did get the cowling cut and put on as well this evening. I even attached the rubber and twirled it with my very own winder (see above pic), I refrained from making airplane noises however because my cat was already staring at me funny
Feb 14, 2006, 05:23 AM
sensitive artsy type
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I forgot about the cowl, it is pretty weak, usually smashes on the first nose in, I replaced it with a balsa one crudely carved, as I needed some clay on the nose anyway.

That picture (of your winder) is scientifically referred to as a 1 to 1 winder I beleive. tt
Feb 14, 2006, 11:54 PM
Lazy dog
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The cowl does seem kinda cheesy but my carving skills are nonexistant so it stays
I got the wings one (major PITA) and the tail feathers on tonite. One wing lined up perfectly the other had a nice rearward sweep to it. I was comtemplating turning it into a delta wing Cessna but ended up shimming it to be PDC (Pretty Darn Close). The tail feather had a little cant to them as well the way there sat on the rear of the fuse but a little sanding on one side fixed that up fine.
It's down to the details now. The uncovered areas call for "heavy paper" and the clear windows still need to be put on. Treetop, do you have a suggestion for glueing the windows in place w/o leaving glue marks on the clear plastic? I have them cut out but have to shape them around the front and rear and trim to fit. I cant do that until I cover the remaining areas with the heavy paper. Lastly I have the decals to put on. If there are any suggestions there I would be most appreciated as well. The more I look at this plane the more I think it'll end up as a static model. I think I'd be afraid to fly it Then again since I'm not at the controls of the radio on this one it probably has a better chance at survival than my electric powered planes!
Feb 15, 2006, 01:01 AM
sensitive artsy type
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Well, the first rubber band model I built, a guillow's Hellcat, I took all this time to paint it blue with dope, and put on decals, it wouldn't fly. Since then, I stopped using decals or colored dope, just very thin coat of clear dope.

On the cabin, I glued a couple stringers from the wing root down to the fuse and covered it with the same yellow tissue that I covered the plane with. So you can see I am about flying them rather than getting the looks right. I do know that white glue, like elmers, dries clear. I have heard of canopy glue, but I haven't used it. The canopy glue probably cost almost as much as the kit.

I am surprised the wheels are wood, at least they look that way, My original one from about 1982 had red plastic wheels. I have one I bought about 10 years ago that I haven't opened.

If you coat the plane with dope, you should be able to use the water slide decals on that.
Feb 19, 2006, 11:46 PM
Lazy dog
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Well I haven't gotten any further on the little plane in the last few days. I wanted to start working on my Gentle Lady Glider. I'll get back and finish the BirdDog in the next few weeks. All I have to do is put in few small supports and put the windows in.
I've come to the conclusion that I like working on bigger models, much easier for my big clumsy fingers to work on.
Feb 26, 2006, 11:36 PM
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i used regular o'l elmers on the canopy. it takes a little while to dry but it will dry clear.
instead of using "stiff" paper for the top windows, cut the plastic to fit across the wing section. make stencile of the window layout and cut it out of the tissue. apply some 50/50 glue around the edges and lay it over the plastic. for the front wind shield, i made a paper template first. it's kinda of a tough bend when it comes to making a nice transition to the top of the wing. if you want to add some decals. draw them up on the 'puter and run the tissue (attached with a glue stick around the edges to a sheet of paper) through your printer. or just use a sharpie marker. after you have everything tissued and colored. hit it with a light coat of clear krylon. do this prior to attaching windows because it WILL fog them. (ask me how know ) BTW, if you want some better rubber, i have some.


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